After Rich’s death I felt very sad and even guilty. I kept having memories of a day when Rich and I had gone out to the lake and I had decided to go in the water for a swim. After a few minutes, I realized that the boat was pretty far away, and I called to Rich to bring the boat around so that I could get out of the water. I was starting to feel cold.
Rich began speeding towards me and I thought that he was going to run over me. He would swerve at the last moment and I would get drenched from the waves the boat would create. He did this several times and I was afraid that I was drowning. Finally he let me on the boat and said I looked like a drowned rat. I screamed at him, “I hope you drown in this lake someday.” That was the lake in which he drowned several years later. I had dreams about this event many times. It was if I was drowning in memories.
I also wondered what had actually happened. The newspapers said that there was a guy with him on the sailboat who saw him fall overboard. He had tried to throw a life saver to him, but he couldn’t get close enough and had lost control of the boat.
He said he saw Rich disappear under the waves. With time these nightmares went away. But I couldn’t help but think that I had somehow predicted his death.
Rich had two step brothers who inherited all of his wealth. He also had a half sister, whom he hated, who got nothing and started an investigation into Rich’s will. One day I got a phone call from a lawyer, who asked if I was Rich’s ex-wife. I confirmed that I was, and he said that Rich had left me $20,000. On his life insurance policy he had not changed the beneficiary form from me to his half brothers, and the money had been paid to them in error.
Now they were trying to correct the mistake and said they would send me a check. I was able to put a down payment to buy a beautiful Condominium by a golf course which was close to the university where I was teaching and pay off my car.
I’ll never know whether Rich intended this or not, but out of the terrible tragedy of our misguided marriage came a real blessing at a time when I really needed it. It reminds me of the following quote:
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